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<   No. 4394   2020-11-26   >

Comic #4394

1 {scene: Monty is climbing back into the felucca}
2 Monty: What’s going on? Why was there a huge wave on the river?
3 Felucca owner: It’s the annual Nile flood! It’s started early for some reason.
4 Prof. Jones: I guess the rains down in Africa.
4 Minnesota Jones: There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do.

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There is a very specific type of measuring device that used to be used for measuring the flooding of the Nile River: a nilometer.

The Nile River was subject to annual flooding events, caused by monsoon rains in the Ethiopian highlands - one of the sources of the Nile. The additional water flow brought both water and fertile silt to Egypt, and in a year when there was neither too much nor too little rain, this would produce good harvests. So the Ancient Egyptians were very interested in monitoring the level of the Nile floods, to determine if it would be a good year or a bad one.

In modern times, the annual flooding of the Nile was seen as a problem to be solved. It was mitigated to some extent by the construction of various dams on the Nile from 1902 onwards, until the opening of the Aswan High Dam in 1970 provided a reservoir capable of handling an entire season's floodwater. The dam regulates the flow of the Nile and provides hydroelectricity to Egypt.

If only the Ancient Egyptians had thought of that, they could have had electric pyramids!

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